The time has finally arrived. That line that once seemed so far from here is now here. I was scrolling through my thesis folder in my google drive and just amazed at the amount of work the filled it. I remember when I first made that folder and only a few documents sat in there, and now there is a host of work.
I’m finally done with my project! And it is a project that I so extremely proud and passionate of! I cannot wait to continue the next steps and do the work to get my project into the hands of young women of color who need it. This has been a wonderful experience and I’ve learned so much along the way.
Words cannot describe how I feel in this moment. This moment where I’m celebrating my accomplishments, reflecting on my journey, thinking about the future, is one I will never forget. And I know I will never forget the people I have met along this journey. From my wonderfully brilliant peers, my amazing professors and the knowledge they shared with me, to the most amazing, wise, patient, kind, intelligent woman I know, my director Dr. Zamora. I thank you all for being apart of my journey and I wish you all nothing but luck and love on yours!!
I have finally finished all my chapters!! I can’t believe it! This project was as much for my readers as it was for me. Rethinking and reliving many of experiences proved to be very therapeutic and cathartic for me. To watch my project evolve from an idea from last summer, to an entire thesis project has been amazing. Honestly, I doubted myself many times. I wasn’t sure I was cut out for this and I wasn’t sure that I was the one that should take on this work. But I’m so glad and proud of myself for sticking through it all, staying committed and doing the work. I’m proud of all of us.
I still have some minor work to complete. This week I am working on my farewell letter to end my book and starting my final revisions and edits. But the end is definitely in sight!
I am excited to share my thesis project with everyone tonight! I’ve been thinking about what sample I want to share with everyone. My work is very personal and I’ve written about some of the deepest and most private things about myself, and I’m looking to share these things with the world. This is both exciting and very frightening at the same time. As I come to the conclusion of my project I reflect on my work and I find that my writings has been very therapeutic. This project has allowed me to revisit a lot of things from my past and from my younger self, some funny, some sad, some painful, hurtful, etc. And all I wish is for my project to be able to help at least one young woman out there.
This week I am focusing on finishing my current chapter (9) and finalizing my presentation for next week. So far both tasks are coming along well. This chapter (because of the topic) was a little heavy for me to write about, but writing about it gave me a sense of relief. And knowing that I’m sharing this story, along with the lessons I’ve learned, and have some advice to share with young women of color, also gave me a push to continue to write.
In addition to writing I am also finalizing my presentation. Usually when I’m preparing for a presentation I am a bundle of nerves. However, this time I find myself excited and ready. Perhaps its because I’m use to my peers, as we’ve been on this journey together from the start. Or perhaps my excitement comes from my project itself. I’ve poured a lot myself, my time, my research, etc., into this project that I am so passionate about, and I am excited to share it with everyone and with the rest of the world upon its completion. Im also looking forward to hearing the rest of the presentations happening tonight. Everyone who has presented so far has done a phenomenal job.
This week I returned to my school building for the first time in a little over than a year, and the feeling was little surreal. It’s only the second day, I’m still adjusting and figuring out how I feel about this change.
On the bright side, Spring time is here, and I’ve been enjoying the sun and pleasant weather we’ve had so far! I’ve been able to sit outside a few times and get some writing done. I went back into creative writing mode (for the last few chapters I need to complete) and that tiny change in scenery felt great and really boosted my creativity. On Sundays I allow myself to sit down for extended time periods to write and relaxing in the sun while writing felt great. Looking forward, there’s really only one month left of this semester (April) and there are a few more things I need to get done so I’ve created a mini-timeline for myself.
- March 28 – April 2: Finish current chapter (9) and finalize presentation
- April 4 – 9: Work on and complete chapter 10
- April 11 – 16: Finish Chapter 10 and Conclusion chapter, begin adding in research for chapters 9 and 10
- April 18 – 23: Research, edit, revise
- April 25 – 30: Finalize all edits and revisions
- May: Produce final project
It’s not quite the end just yet, but the end is coming in sight. I’m excited, nervous, anxious, sad, and a bunch more of feelings. More than anything though I’m excited to continue working on my project and seeing how it all comes together in these final weeks. Dr. Zamora mentioned in the previous semester (when discussing Mary Kate) that she gave birth twice (to her beautiful babygirl and her wonderful thesis project). And it really feels like I’ve been slowly carrying my thesis to term and I’m getting closer and closer to my due date. Around this time expecting moms are excited to see what their baby will look like and how they will feel in their arms, and I feel a similar sort of excitement. I can’t wait to see and hold and show off this project that I’ve been working so hard on! One I never thought I would complete!
So, let me get back to work!!
Just as Daylight Saving Time took an hour away from us, I also learned that I will be returning to my school building starting next Monday. There were talks about this happening but to hear that its finally taking place gave me a whirlwind of emotions. And so I am readying myself as I continue to work on my thesis project. This week I spent more time “sprinkling in” the research into another chapter. I think this break from creative writing was necessary and I was able to produce some solid work, but for this coming week I’m ready to get back into my creative writing mode. I only have a few more chapters that left and I want to get all of the creative writing out of the way and then spend the final half of the semester adding in the research, revising and editing.
Below is the chapter I worked on this week. Because of the topic in this chapter I wanted to do my best to not sound “textbook” with the research and information I was providing.
Coming onto this week of writing I felt the need to pause on my creative writing and take a look at the research that needed to be added.
When I am doing my creative writing I leave myself side notes and comments for the particular places I want to plug in certain research information. This week I took a look at the first chapter I completed since this semester began and I used the articles I found to add in the information and research. After doing that I read through my work making sure that the flow between creative writing and research was smooth. While I was doing this I found it interesting that there were additional instances where I felt either more information or new information needed to be added. This took me back to my articles to locate this information and there was an instance where the information I was looking to provide could not be located in the articles I already had. With this realization I found myself going back to the online library and research tools to try and locate research with the information I was looking for.
Once I found useful articles for the information I felt was lacking, I also had the urge to share a little more of my own experience and thoughts behind the research I just inserted, which in turn prompted more creative writing from me. I think creating that space in this chapter from my creative writing and research worked out well for me. When I came back to this chapter I came back with fresher eyes that didn’t just rely on the comments I left on the side for places to add in information. I was able to find more places where I could add in additional information and research as well as more creative writing.
Moving forward I think this would be a great balancing method I can follow. I will allow my creative writing to flow (leaving comments for where I envision certain information to be added) before pausing to go back and add in my research. By which time I while have created enough time and space between my work so that when I revisit it I can see the things I may have missed my first time around when writing.
I’m excited for the start of presentations. I know I’ve heard about everyone’s thesis projects last semester but its going to be great to not only hear them again, but to also hear the progress that has been made on their projects. I know they’re going to be great!
This week I continued working on my project. I found that if I’ve been sitting for quite some time and I’m not generating enough or the amount of work that I want to, then its good for me to walk away for a while. Then I try to write in short bursts, like in between my zoom classes or on my lunch breaks. And those short bursts of writing add up. I was able to finish the chapter I’ve been working on these past two weeks and I’m ready to get started on my next chapter this week.
Like I said in my previous post, my biggest goal right now is to maintain this level of momentum and motivation that I’ve been having in order to continue to work on my project. I have set a goal/timeline and I want to do my best to stick to it.
Following along with Dr. Zamora’s message from the week, I find myself still going and still maintaining my momentum. This week came with more writing! While I have not finished the chapter I am currently working on, I am comfortable and pleased with the amount of writing I was able to get done.
My goal is to finish this current chapter by the end of the next week which will bring me to the first week of March. If I meet this goal and my goal of completing a chapter a week, by the end of March I will be done with my remaining chapters. This timeline would permit me to have the whole month of April to add in my research and to do any necessary revisions and edits. Even if I find myself off by a week or two, there should still be more than enough time for me to comfortably (not under any immense pressure) to add in my research and revisions. I want to avoid the last minute work under pressure, crunch time as best as I can. So I will continue to pace myself and just keep going!
This last week being off on Friday and Monday allowed me to dedicate more time to my thesis project. Unlike last week (where I had to constantly return to my project multiple times and work in short bursts) I was able to sit and work for a longer period(s) of times on my project. I was able to finish the chapter I started last week, which means I’ve been able to get through 2 chapters in 2 weeks! I am incredibly excited and proud of the progress I am steadily making. At this rate I can get a lot of creative writing done with enough time to spend adding in the research and reviewing/editing my work. This is crunch time! February is ending next weekend and time is flying! So hopefully I can keep this momentum going. Whether I have to come back to my project 7+ times in one day, or working in one sitting for a long period of time, I just want to keep the progress flowing.
It also felt great to share some of my work with some of my peers last week, and the feedback was great, so thank you to Dylan and Linda. I’m going to add a link to the full chapter below for anyone who would like to take a look!
In the small groups last week we discussed how for my project (and others as well) that revisiting some of our past memories can be disturbing. For certain aspects of my project this has definitely been something I’ve had to deal with in. In a sense I find it somewhat therapeutic and, as challenging as this could be, I see it as another opportunity to re-work through many things I’ve previously dealt with. We also discussed how brave it seems for me to be putting so much of this information out for people to read. I never looked it as being brave (I do appreciate this label though) but I did go back and forth with myself on the level of honesty and vulnerability I’m sharing in this project. For that reason, I’ve been considering if this project were to be publicly published, doing so under a pseudonym. If I were to do this, is this something I should explain up front to my readers? My whole goal is to be as authentic and transparent with them so that they can trust me and therefore trust my project, will remaining anonymous strip away any of this transparency and trust? These are just some questions I’m considering as I finish working through my project.